Mid-South Wrestling (TV #154)
August 21st 1982
Irish McNeil Boys Club: Shreveport, LA.
“Your good friend and mine,” Bill Watts was back on colour commentary alongside Boyd Pierce this week and he put over Grizzly Smith for putting together another great card on Mid-South TV. Watts noted that Paul Ellering had suffered his third serious knee injury in the space of a year and speculated that his career could very well be over. Then, Watts recapped the JYD/Ted DiBiase story, with JYD refusing to wrestle on TV unless it was against DiBiase for the North American title. He explained that Grizzly Smith had made the decision that if JYD & Mr Olympia retain the Mid-South Tag titles over DiBiase & Duggan on today’s show then JYD would receive a North American title shot against DiBiase in the future. Finally, Watts stated that Kevin Von Erich would be making his Mid-South debut then he put over the “Von Erich dynasty” and said there had been, Verne & Greg Gagne, Eddie & Mike Graham, the Funks in Amarillo, but he had never seen anything like the Von Erich family out of Dallas, TX.
Kevin Von Erich vs. Billy Starr. – Total squash for Von Erich in 3:22. Kevin was over with the women in the crowd, but unlike in Dallas the females in Shreveport, LA managed to restrain themselves from literally molesting one of the Von Erich boys. Kevin had a great presence and was pretty polished. He’s earned the reputation of being the stiffest of the Von Erich’s lads, which may not have been fun for the guys in the ring with him, but it certainly made his offense look great. Kevin didn’t let Starr get anything in at all and won with a Bodyslam and a Big Splash.
Mid-South Tag Team Championship: JYD & Mr Olympia (C) vs. Ted DiBiase (North American Heavyweight Champion) & “Hacksaw” Duggan. – JYD & Olympia retained in 7:21. This was one of the best matches we’ve come across during our look at the run of Mid-South TV. The work was great and the finish was the perfect way to continue the JYD/DiBiase program. Faces shone early; JYD used his power and Olympia showed off his speed. Olympia & DiBiase had a nice exchange then JYD tagged in and DiBiase ran for his life. The heels tried to distract JYD and DiBise finally got in the ring with him, however the Dog overcame the odds and pounded on DiBiase. The crowd went nuts when JYD got his hands on DiBiase. There was a brief heat segment on JYD after DiBiase cut him off with a knee from the apron then Olympia ran wild on both heels off the hot tag. Finish saw it brake down with all four men brawling in the ring and the referee eventually managed to regain control. JYD tagged in, however Duggan sent Olympia into the Dog and he took a spill to the floor. DiBiase hit his Powerslam and put Olympia in the Figure Four but the referee indicated that Olympia was not the legal man. JYD got back in and gave DiBiase the Big Thump to get the clean pin over the North American champion and the fans lost their minds. – A lot of the matches from this era do not hold up very well at all, but this match would get over on any wrestling show in 2016 simply because the psychology was so good.
Dick Murdoch vs. Tug Taylor. – Murdoch over in 2:31. Basic squash for Murdoch, who was back from his tour of New Japan Pro Wrestling which Watts still referred to as the “Middle East.” Watts said that JYD would indeed receive a North American title shot after pinning DiBiase, however he noted that DiBiase would defend the title against Dick Murdoch next week. Murdoch downed Taylor with the Brainbuster.
Louisiana Heavyweight Championship: Killer Khan (C) w/Skandor Akbar vs. “Iron” Mike Sharpe. – Sharpe became the new champion in 7:30. This was a very bizarre and not particularly good match. It was Khan’s first real competitive match on TV; usually Khan just showed up and slaughtered some poor journeyman jobber. Sharpe actually took 90% of the match and his genius plan to battle this Mongolian monster was to work over the arm with a bunch or Arm Ringers. Like I said, bizarre. Finish was right out of the Eddie Graham playbook and involved an hilarious ref bump. Akbar got on the apron to distract Sharpe and Khan ended up hitting his Flying Knee Drop of doom off the second rope. Akbar told Khan not to go for the cover and instructed him to deliver the Piledriver. Sharpe countered the Piledriver with a backdrop and picked up Akbar for a slam, which was supposed to knock down referee, Alfred Neely. However, Akbar came no where near Neely and he had to throw himself through the ropes in a completely phony manner. Khan held Sharpe while Akbar got some shots in and Buck Robley ran down to take out Akbar. Khan sent Robley over the top and Sharpe caught him with a Small Package to get the pin and win the title. – Seeing Khan selling for Arm Ringers was so jarring after weeks of him being an unstoppable killer, not to mention Sharpe taking most of the match was even more peculiar. It appears like Khan is coming to the end of his Mid-South run, as he goes back to New Japan in November ’82 for the MSG Tag Team League, making a stops in Madison Square Garden for the WWF on August 30th in a victory over Steve Travis and in Montreal on October 12th to put over Andre the Giant.
Mr Wrestling II vs. Mike Bond. – Enhancement win for Wrestling II in 3:23. This is our first look at Wrestling II in Mid-South, although he had been in the territory in 1979 and had a seven month run with the then NWA Tri-State version of the North American Heavyweight title. Unlike Kevin Von Erich, Two gave his jobber quite a lot of offense and it built to a spot with Bond going after Two’s mask. Two fired up and put an ass-kicking on Bond and won with the vaunted Knee Lift.
Reeser Bowden made the introductions for Buck Robley vs. One Man Gang, however Skandor Akbar showed up in a pair of trunks and stated he used to be the North American champion and challenged Robely to a match. Robley agreed and One Man Gang stepped aside to let Akbar take his place.
Skandor Akbar w/One Man Gang vs. Buck Robley. – Robley via DQ in 0:41 . Akbar jumped Robley from behind before the bell and got a few shots in. Robley fired back and Akbar did some amazing wacky ’80’s selling, wobbly legs and all. Akbar tried to throw a fireball but Robely hit a dropkick then Gang hit the ring for the DQ. Killer Khan ran out too and all three heels put the boots to Robley then Gang killed him with five elbow drops.
Dick Murdoch, Mr Wrestling II & Mike Sharpe ran down to make the save and chased off the heels but Robley sold like death as the damage had already been done. – This was a nice little angle to follow up on Robley running out to help Sharpe during the title match with Khan and what a novel concept that a group of babyface ran down to try and save their buddy from a heel beatdown.
Ted DiBiase & “Hacksaw” Duggan were at the announce desk with Boyd Pierce & Bill Watts. DiBiase ranted about being ripped off during the Tag title match and said the referee gave JYD & Olympia the win. He also was unhappy about having to defend his North American title against Dick Murdoch and then JYD, however he noted that he was only contracted to defend the belt once every thirty days. DiBiase cut an awesome promo on Murdoch and said he was no longer a little kid and not Murdoch’s protégée anymore then went back to protesting the decision of the Tag title match. He claimed that Mid-South was protecting JYD and accused the referee of being biased then demanded a rematch with an impartial referee. Watts noted that the video tape footage would reveal the truth and Boyd Pierce wrapped up the show for another week.
This was a really strong episode of Mid-South TV, as there was a little bit of everything. Kevin Von Erich debuted and looked great in an utter destruction of a squash match. JYD & Olympia vs. DiBiase & Duggan was a good match even by today’s standards and the booking of the finish was great. Speaking of booking, Dick Murdoch returned and looked strong before he challenges his former protégée, DiBiase, for the North American title next week. There was a Louisiana title change, with Mike Sharpe capturing the strap from Killer Khan. Even though the match and finish were not executed particularly well, the title change went over huge and they followed it up nicely with the beatdown on Buck Robely. We also had Mr Wrestling II coming back which would led to the famous student/teacher angle and eventual feud with Magnum TA in ’83/84.